Black cabs are unique to London. Many of these vehicles are no longer plying on the roads but are in cold storage in different car parks and farmlands. The number of vehicles declined from 18,900 in June to 15,000 in November. Transport for London (TfL) confirms this, says Sky News. Firms renting out black cabs had to go in for hiring space to store vehicles drivers have handed back.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association LTDA reveals only 20 percent of drivers still have their vehicles in London. An official says the London cabbies are earning much less than normal levels. Coronavirus has affected all forms of Travel.

The strict protocol defined for protection against this highly contagious disease is to wear a facemask, avoid crowds and physical contact with others. The result is there for all to see as a new culture called work-from-home has emerged, and there is less traffic on the roads. Airlines have grounded their fleets, cruise ships have dropped anchor in ports, and London's black cabs are in hibernation.

All forms of transport are waiting for situations to improve. In large cities like London, people use cabs to go to movies or other entertainment places. However, coronavirus has put paid to such scenarios. The Notting Hill Carnival this year was a virtual affair devoid of overcrowded streets of West London.

The BBC says those who drive the cabs in London are "desperate." Some of them are disposing of their vehicles at throwaway prices, and many have hardly any income. These cabs are an integral part of London but could become history. As one of the drivers said, the demand had "evaporated" and the number of daily customers has dropped drastically.

Cab operators in London are worried

One of the cab operators points out that the situation is one of worry. There is no idea of who the next customer would be and where he would come from.

The BBC mentions the LTDA figures that reveal the unpredictability. An example is that of drivers who arrive at Heathrow Airport with a fare.

They have an average waiting time of nine hours before going to pick up a passenger. A cab driver in his 60s who has driven cabs in London for more than three decades sums up the scenario saying: "I've never seen London like it. In 33 years, I've never seen it as quiet, as desolate and depressing."

London based rental companies suffering

Companies who rent out the cabs in London are stuck with vehicles that are not on the roads. One of these companies has a fleet of 100 black cabs, and it has witnessed a drop in its occupation rate from 95 percent prior to the crisis to just 10 percent. That is an indication of the grim reality.

The BBC says another firm is using farmland for parking its 200 plus vehicles.

Yet another firm with a larger fleet has hired a car park. An official said: "The whole trade has suffered. There must be 2,000 taxis on fields at the moment." At the other end of the spectrum is the heartening news of a bus that will travel from Delhi to London in 70 days covering 18 countries.

Black cabs mothballed in London

According to Sky News, work has dried up during the coronavirus pandemic, and black cabs in London are in storage. The number of licensed taxis has reduced, and an LTDA official estimates only one in five cabbies is still driving their vehicle.

The official is General Secretary Steve McNamara, and he describes the situation as nightmarish with some cabbies on "starvation wages."

Many rental companies have hired empty spaces to store vehicles that are not in use.

However, there are instances of pilferage of items from these cabs. Coronavirus is spreading its reach, and scientists worldwide are trying to come up with a vaccine. The world expects normalcy to return once the vaccine becomes available.

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